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Martin Health Sys­tem, Stu­art, Fla., has fi­nally kicked off con­struc­tion of Tra­di­tion Med­i­cal Cen­ter, its new hospi­tal in west Port St. Lu­cie, af­ter a con­tentious 14-year ap­proval process and le­gal strug­gle. The $110 mil­lion, 201,184square-foot hospi­tal is ex­pected to open with 90 beds in 2014. It will have the po­ten­tial to ex­pand to 300 beds, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. Martin Health had been locked in a le­gal bat­tle with HCA, which owns the nearby 194-bed St. Lu­cie Med­i­cal Cen­ter and 331-bed Lawn­wood Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter and had sought to block the fa­cil­ity from be­ing granted a certificate of need. But an ap­peals court fi­nally ruled in 316-bed Martin Health’s fa­vor in Oc­to­ber 2010, paving the way for con­struc­tion. The med­i­cal cen­ter will be lo­cated on the cam­pus of Tra­di­tion Cen­ter for In­no­va­tion, a re­search park, which will al­low Martin Health to build part­ner­ships with the or­ga­ni­za­tions there, ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease. “This is a mo­ment that has been a long time in com­ing, but we rec­og­nized that hav­ing a hospi­tal in west Port St. Lu­cie was crit­i­cal to res­i­dents here,” Mark Ro­bitaille, pres­i­dent and CEO of Martin Health Sys­tem, said in a state­ment. Martin Health first ap­plied for ap­proval to build the med­i­cal cen­ter in 1998, fil­ing sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions be­fore win­ning pre­lim­i­nary ap­proval for the project in 2007. Gin­ger King, a spokes­woman for St. Lu­cie Med­i­cal Cen­ter, noted that the group’s stance on the new fa­cil­ity has not changed. “As we have said, we dis­agree with the as­sess­ment of need and we do not think a new hospi­tal is in the best in­ter­est of the com­mu­nity.” SARA­SOTA, Fla.—

Sara­sota Me­mo­rial Health Care Sys­tem has part­nered with Columbia Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter in New York to ex­pand its car­diac-care ser­vices. The af­fil­i­a­tion will give 628-bed Sara­sota Me­mo­rial 24/7 ac­cess to Columbia’s car­diac surgery team to con­sult on cases—as well as the chance to work with the lat­est car­diac de­vices and ther­a­pies. Sara­sota Me­mo­rial’s physi­cians also will have the op­por­tu­nity to work on re­search projects and clin­i­cal tri­als along­side Columbia fac­ulty and re­ceive Columbia fac­ulty ap­point­ments them­selves. Terms of the agree­ment were not dis­closed. “This col­lab­o­ra­tion brings to­gether the best of both worlds— one of the na­tion’s top aca­demic med­i­cal cen­ters and one of the na­tion’s best com­mu­nity hos­pi­tals,” Dr. Ri­cardo Yaryura, med­i­cal di­rec­tor of Sara­sota Me­mo­rial’s car­di­ol­ogy ser­vices, said in a news re­lease. The part­ner­ship comes as Sara­sota Me­mo­rial has been try­ing to build its own car­di­ol­ogy of­fer­ings. The hospi­tal sys­tem later this year plans to open a hy­brid op­er­at­ing room-car­diac catheter­i­za­tion lab that will al­low sur­geons to per­form mul­ti­ple car­di­ol­ogy pro­ce­dures si­mul­ta­ne­ously. It also plans to open a Valve Cen­ter this year for pa­tients with se­vere aor­tic steno­sis, or valve-nar­row­ing. Both projects will al­low Sara­sota Me­mo­rial to tap into the ex­per­tise avail­able at Columbia in those fields. “The col­lab­o­ra­tion will com­bine the strengths of both pro­grams to en­sure pa­tients have ac­cess to state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy and re­search and re­ceive out­stand­ing car­diac care,” Dr. Craig Smith, chair­man of Columbia’s Depart­ment of Surgery, said in a state­ment. TOW­SON, Md.—

Catholic Health Ini­tia­tives agreed to en­ter ex­clu­sive ne­go­ti­a­tions to di­vest St. Joseph Med­i­cal Cen­ter to the Univer­sity of Mary­land Med­i­cal Sys­tem. The agree­ment fol­lows months of talks with suit­ors for St. Joseph, a 305-bed hospi­tal in Tow­son, af­ter which the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more, won en­dorse­ment from the St. Joseph board of di­rec­tors, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. En­gle­wood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Ini­tia­tives, which in­cludes 55 hos­pi­tals in 16 states, and the Catholic Church must ap­prove the deal and the univer­sity sys­tem agreed to “to honor SJMC’S Catholic iden­tity and its re­li­gious her­itage,” ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. Talks are ex­pected to pro­duce a de­fin­i­tive agree­ment. WINCH­ESTER, Ky.—

Clark Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter opened the doors to its new $60 mil­lion hospi­tal, which re­places an older fa­cil­ity. The 79-bed fa­cil­ity is the first newly con­structed com­mu­nity hospi­tal in Ken­tucky this year, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. It will be fully op­er­a­tional, with all pa­tients trans­ferred, as of March 31. Clark Re­gional also plans to open a $10 mil­lion of­fice build­ing on the same site in Au­gust. That space will house its women’s health and re­hab/phys­i­cal ther­apy cen­ters as well as of­fices for the Clark Clinic—a pri­mary-care prac­tice—and other providers. Clark Re­gional, which has 100 beds and owned since May 2010 by Lifepoint Hos­pi­tals, Brent­wood, Tenn., cel­e­brated the grand open­ing of the hospi­tal on its 95th an­niver­sary. “Open­ing a brand-new fa­cil­ity as we cel­e­brate 95 years of serv­ing Winch­ester and the sur­round­ing ar­eas is quite pro­found,” Kathy Love, CEO of Clark Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter, said in a state­ment. The hospi­tal was de­signed to in­cor­po­rate high-tech fea­tures in­clud­ing a fully geo­ther­mal heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tem, elec­tronic health records with bed­side com­puter chart­ing and state-ofthe-art di­ag­nos­tic and sur­gi­cal equip­ment, ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease. “The new Clark Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter is cut­ting edge and shines a bright light on this com­mu­nity’s com­mit­ment to its peo­ple for nearly a cen­tury,” said Ken­tucky Gov. Steve Bes­hear in a state­ment.

Of­fi­cials broke ground for Tra­di­tion Med­i­cal Cen­ter re­cently af­ter a lengthy le­gal strug­gle.

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